SRHR for Everyone APA’s Stand at the 57th UN Commission on Population and Development

“We stand today, renewed and catalyzed to work in partnership in support of this transformative agenda,” declared Caecilia Roth of Family Planning Australia, representing the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights, at the 57th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD57). This session, held at the United Nations Headquarters from April 29 to May 3, 2024, marked the 30th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) with a renewed commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

The Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APA), a regional network mobilizing civil society advocacy, has once again emphasized the critical role of civil society in achieving the ICPD Programme of Action. Roth highlighted the importance of diverse civil society, including youth-led organizations, in addressing “unfinished business” and achieving universal SRHR.

Addressing Systemic Barriers

Despite progress towards sustainable development, Roth pointed out that many groups still face systemic barriers. Women and girls, adolescents, young people, migrants, refugees, people living with HIV, sex workers, indigenous people, those living with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community encounter significant challenges in accessing SRHR. The APA calls for increased resources and protection of participatory spaces for civil society at all levels to advance these rights.

Call to Action

Reflecting the voices of 120 diverse civil society representatives from the 7th Asian and Pacific Population Conference (7APPC), Roth reiterated the call for the fulfillment of sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion and bodily autonomy. This involves addressing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and eliminating all forms of violence, including gender-based violence and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage.

Regional Implementation and Policy Coherence

The APA urged member states in Asia and the Pacific to catalyze the implementation of the 2013 Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development. This includes addressing current regional trends such as shifting demographics, increased gender-based violence, and the climate crisis, which disproportionately affect marginalized communities.

Roth commended the progressive discussions at CPD57 and stressed the need for these dialogues to contribute to the Pact of the Future, ensuring the inclusion of ICPD commitments. She also called for policy coherence with the upcoming Beijing+30 review process and other relevant multilateral processes.

The APA’s statement at CPD57 underscores the necessity of continued advocacy and resource allocation to achieve universal SRHR. By addressing systemic barriers and promoting inclusive dialogues, the APA remains dedicated to advancing global SRHR initiatives and upholding the ICPD Programme of Action.

Source: Asia Pacific Alliance

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